State Agency Announces Substance Abuse Prevention Award Winners

Brenda Gibson

January 2, 2013

The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) presented its annual “Community Prevention Awards” this week during the 24th Ohio Prevention and Education Conference (OPEC), the largest alcohol and other drug prevention workforce development event of its kind in the state. The awards are given annually to service providers and/or individuals who exemplify Ohio’s best in terms of prevention programming, advocacy and leadership.

“Promoting healthy, safe and productive communities is a top priority for the Kasich Administration,” commented ODADAS Director Orman Hall. “This year’s recipients have distinguished themselves as true pioneers in our field, employing creativity and innovation to advance prevention science for the betterment of Ohio.”

Additionally, the Department honored winners of its second annual youth-led public service announcement (PSA) contest. Teams of high-school aged youth from across the state were challenged to create 60-second PSAs that highlight the fact that a majority of teens do not use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Voting occurred via the ODADAS Facebook page, with the lead vote-getter earning the “Fan Favorite” award. ODADAS Senior Staff and Prevention programming specialists also evaluated the PSAs, naming a “Critic’s Choice” award winner based on message content and production quality. In all, the Department received 10 entries, which can be viewed on the video tab on the ODADAS Facebook page:

“We challenged entrants to drive home the message that the majority of teens in Ohio do not use alcohol or other drugs, and they delivered. I am truly impressed by the level of enthusiasm and creativity reflected in the PSAs. It was very difficult to choose a favorite – they are all well done,” said Director Hall.

2012 Prevention Innovators of the Year

Ty Sells, OCPS II, Youth to Youth International (Franklin County) – Ty Sells is a dynamic trainer and public speaker who has dedicated his career to helping to motivate youth to live a drug free life. Over the course of 27 years, he has developed numerous evidence-based programs and initiatives that help young people develop assets that lead them to success. He has been called “an ambassador for prevention” by colleagues for his cutting edge prevention work.

John Richey, MBA, RHIA, The University of Findlay (Hancock County) – John Richey, director of the Health Informatics Program at The University of Findlay, was nominated by the Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services and Community Partnership for his efforts to lead the local Opiate/Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force in developing a database to gather and manipulate information related to substance abuse trends that could be used to make data-informed decisions around local prevention and education efforts.

2012 Community Champion for Prevention

Aaron Haslam (Adams County) – Former Adams County Prosecutor Aaron Haslam was appointed as co-coordinator of the Ohio Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit and was sworn-in as special assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Ohio in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Haslam was recognized for his leadership role in working with local and state drug task forces, including those within Ohio’s Organized Crime Investigations Commission, special agents with the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, as well as federal partners, to fight prescription drug abuse and addiction.

2012 Youth-Led PSA Contest Winners:

“Fan Favorite” – The LINK, (Sandusky County Health Department)

“Critic’s Choice” – Youth to Youth, International (Franklin County)

Honorable mention:

o PANDA Leaders Club (Mahoning County)

• Columbiana County Youth Leadership Group

• Columbiana County Youth Coalition

• Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop (Summit County)

• Natural High Columbus

• STAND Up Leadership Team of Delaware County

• Youth Leadership Council of Licking County

o Lima Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP) - Teen Peer Educator Program